'Giganomics' Hits Indiana

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An Indiana company says it is at the forefront of technology that could be an economic development and quality of life"game-changer." Elletsville-based Smithville Communications is making an investment in "Giganomics." It is spending the equivalent of $2.5 million to provide residential fiber customers with free Gigagit-level Internet speed in March. National companies are implementing similar ultra-fast broadband connections in much larger markets including Google's fiber system in Kansas City. January 14, 2014

News Release

ELLETSVILLE, Indiana – With Google and other national telecoms inaugurating fiber-to-the-premise service in Austin, Texas and other parts of the nation, numerous experts are calling 2014 “the year of Gigabit connectivity.” As Smithville Communications has already been providing fiber-based gigabit connectivity for some five years, the company will celebrate the national industry advancement by “turning up all Smithville residential fiber customers to gigabit-level of Internet speed in March,” said Darby McCarty, President and CEO of Smithville Communications.

Gigabit connectivity represents a data transmission rate of one billion bits per second and its power “creates all kinds of new opportunities for businesses and residential homes alike,” explained McCarty. “We can describe the digital horsepower power of gigabit connectivity in terms like how many seconds it takes to download large software programs or HD movies, but one can only really understand the transformational power that this brings to a home or business through hands-on experience.”

While many companies have offered hybrid-based (twisted-pair copper or coaxial cable with fiber) megabit connectivity for a number of years, Gigabit level pure-fiber connectivity is the future. It provides a faster and more stable platform for HD video, data transmission, computer modeling, voice service and other applications requiring high-speed capacity.

“Since we’ve been in the business of providing fiber service to an expanding base of customers since 2009, we’d like to welcome other telecommunications companies who are finally bringing Google-level Internet speed to the communities they serve,” said Ms. McCarty.

Of its 23,000 customers, about 15,000 homes in the Smithville service area have the capacity for the free month of gigabit upgrade. About 6,500 existing fiber customers in the service area will automatically receive the one-month free service upgrade on March 1, Ms. McCarty said.

“For over half a decade Smithville Communications has been providing a level of high-speed internet service that is what Google is just now lighting up in a few cities around the United States,” said Cullen McCarty, executive vice president of Smithville.

Smithville Communications began a more than $90 million fiber-optics rebuild and started providing high-speed fiber-based broadband service in 2009, some five years ago. Since then, an expanding number of homes and businesses in southern Indiana and elsewhere have been experiencing the power of high-speed fiber together with its many advantages.

Beside areas of the greater Bloomington region and elsewhere in southern Indiana, Smithville Communications has created fiber gigabit communities in the small and rural communities of French Lick, Sharpsville, Lizton, Gosport, and Griffin, as well as a number of remote areas in Indiana. The company is in the process of presently expanding further into a number of other larger Hoosier cities as well.

“High-speed fiber connectivity is critical for creating business opportunities, improving quality of life and advancing Hoosier life in a digital world, particularly in rural areas,” said Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann. “It’s great to see Smithville’s continued commitment, especially to rural Indiana.”

“This new capacity opens the doors for the higher quality of life for residents and serious business advantages that fiber brings to a community, including access to Indiana’s fastest Internet, HD IPTV and crystal-clear digital voice services,” Ms. McCarty noted. “Rural businesses, and Indianapolis and Bloomington companies who have employees working from home in virtual offices now have a significant advantage with Smithville fiber-optic broadband services.”

Internet protocol (IP) platforms used by Smithville fiber also represent the new standard that the FCC is advocating. “Smithville is already well into the process of converting our service areas to fiber-based IP, which probably won’t come to other communities and areas for some time to come,” Ms. McCarty added.

Smithville Communications, Indiana’s largest independent telecommunications company, began a regional over- build of its “twisted-pair” copper transmission lines about five years ago. Its enterprise division, Smithville Telecom, has advanced telemedicine and healthcare operations across the state through high-capacity fiber connectivity, including creating the capacity for HD image transmission and direct medical consults between clinics and a number of large and small hospitals. Several universities, colleges and technology facilities, including the WestGate @ Crane Technology Park, also utilize Smithville Communications fiber services.

Serving about 23,000 residential and business customers in southern and central Indiana, Smithville Communications offers a range of high-speed fiber-based services, including speeds of up to 1 Gbps to consumers and 10 Gbps to large businesses and enterprise customers. The company is active with enterprise and/or residential customers in Columbus, the greater Bloomington area, Jasper, Seymour, Evansville, Lafayette, Fishers, Indianapolis, and other areas. With its ongoing build-out, the company is committed to ultimately replacing all of its remaining twisted-pair copper-based customers with fiber optics as market forces and financial conditions permit.

Earlier in 2013 Smithville Communications publicly made the commitment to strategically strengthen its focus on becoming a technology delivery enterprise, which will include the state’s fastest fiber “Big Pipe” broadband; high quality IPTV video programming; information, data and video technology services; voice; original local video content (including sports); and other communication technology and content.

“Smithville Communications is rapidly moving from its former position as a regulated utility toward becoming a 21st century enterprise focused on the delivery of high-performing communications technology,” said Cullen McCarty.Source: Smithville Communications